The Board of Supervisors declared this week to be “National Health Center Week” to raise awareness of services provided by local health centers.
Supervisor Hilda Solis said there are more than 89 community clinics and health centers countywide providing primary care, immunizations, behavioral health care and dental services to more than 1.4 million residents, regardless of their ability to pay.
“More than 62 percent of these patients are below the federal poverty line, and they rely on these community health centers for medical, dental and health education services,” Solis said. “These patients might otherwise only seek care through emergency rooms or after it is too late for preventive care.”
The role of clinics has become more important since the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, an industry representative said.
“Since the founding of the national health center movement more than 50 years ago, nonprofit community clinics and health centers have been at the forefront of innovations in care for the nation’s underserved,” said Louise McCarthy, president and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County. “With the investments of the Affordable Care Act, clinics have grown to be more than just an option for primary medical care, but also hubs for behavioral health, dental care, financial literacy, health education, voter registration and much, much more.